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Weekly Blog

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I can’t believe we are at the end of the school year!!! It only seems 2 minutes ago we were back in September, then Christmas followed by the snow, Easter and now here it is – the end of the year!

I haven’t written a blog for the last few weeks because I’ve been so busy on lots of other projects (for Spring Brook and Springboard) that I’ve simply run out of time. So I thought I would show you what’s been happening down here at Dean Street..

June was such a warm month but incredibly exciting. We spent time with Moira, our new Senior Advisor, and with her help we talked about exciting new developments for the year ahead – more about that next term. I was also part of the New Bridge team that met Apple and I must say I was definitely inspired and it gave me some real food for thought.

To continue on this ICT theme, I was invited by our technical team, Gaia, to attend a Google event at Old Trafford together with several colleagues..

We looked at the exciting developments in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality – definitely something I want at Springboard as it will give our young people the chance to experience something completely different and out of this world!! We also got the chance to see some cricket being played on a perfect sunny day!

June brings exams and our GCSE Art work was moderated. It was so lovely to see the students’ work exhibited and we are eagerly awaiting the marks in August to see how Jamie, Jason and Corey performed – good luck, guys!


We received our certificates for the Records of Achievement and I am so happy at the work Key Stage 4 have produced in both their ASDAN and AQA Awards. Their Record of Achievement files are looking quite thick and that’s down to the hard work of the students and staff. Jason completed his DT coursework with Mr Pidlyskyj and sat the final exam  – so again, fingers crossed for the result in August.

Whilst we have loved all the Summer sunshine, our 2 pregnant ladies, Mrs Roberts and Miss Tokelove, have not been as keen on the hot weather. However, in typical Dean Street style, we celebrated the forthcoming babies with a shower..

Good luck to you in the Summer when both babies are due..

We also sent our luck and best wishes to Hollinwood Academy who were inspected by OFSTED.

Mr Molloy went out with a group to Challenge 4 Change in Trafford. They were asked to really ‘face their fears’ with some very gruelling tasks, including high wires and ropes – if you missed our earlier post, you can find out more about how they coped with the challenges here.

We celebrated the World Cup day with fun events, games and, of course, food. DJ is brilliant at cooking and always keeps me and Miss Rodgers well fed..

I was invited to present an award at the New Bridge Group’s Sports Awards. It was amazing to see so many young people from across the Trust, including Spring Brook, celebrate a year’s worth of sporting achievement..

It also enabled me to go back to my roots – of teaching PE and seeing our young people excel at sports. It was brilliant to see Matthew who is now a successful member of Activ8..

On Friday, Mr Quinn and I were invited to the House of Lords for afternoon tea, an event hosted by the New Schools Network for all free schools at the pre-opening stage, which is where we are with the Springboard Project..

It was an amazing day and brilliant to see colleagues from lots of schools all over the country and share what they are doing. Mr Quinn even recognised a few colleagues who had been to the Apple event with him in the States..

The guest speaker, Lord Gilbert, said some words which really hit home to me and encapsulated the vision I have for Springboard. He explained how the Free Schools project is based around developing careers for children and how by giving our young people essential knowledge, technical ability and resilience, we can enable actions and future opportunities, opening up the horizons for our young people to thrive in the economy. Lord Gilbert finished with the words, ‘your children will have the brilliant future they deserve.’ Exactly. We then had a quick dash across London to catch the train back to Manchester to attend the Year 11 prom!

It was so good to see some of our Spring Brook students in their best attire and mixing with other students from our New Bridge family..

On Monday, myself and other heads of school attended the Jigsaw event at Hollinwood, a brilliant opportunity to design our vision for our schools. For me, the Springboard Project will be about..

  • positive outcomes for all our young people
  • inspirational teaching and learning
  • a happy place
  • a place like IKEA – walls of learning always moving and a brilliant environment (although not everyone agreed with my analogy!)

Tuesday was a family day for me as I saw my eldest daughter graduate. Lucy will be joining our teaching school in September through Mrs O’Shaughnessy at Hawthorns, so her teaching journey is just beginning.

Thursday saw the Record of Achievement celebration for Year 11 at New Bridge. It was brilliant that our Spring Brook students were included this year alongside the other Year 11 leavers. Well done to Corey, Jason, Chloe and Jamie for a brilliant year of work – good luck to you!

Our Duke of Edinburgh’s work never fails to amaze me. Mr Hopkins took the Bronze group on their qualifying expedition where they completed their final camp and hike – you can find out how they got on here. This has been a massive achievement for these boys, well done!

Finally, Friday saw our last day of the year!! I want to say a MASSIVE THANKS to all the staff who really are making all the difference to the students at Dean Street. I think it’s safe to say we will all really miss this team when the move begins to Springboard – Miss Rodgers and I really do count you as our dream team.

I would also like to say a massive thank you to all the parents, carers and other colleagues who have supported us this year. It really does make a difference to our young people.

Can I remind parents that letters have been sent out via Mrs Coulbeck about school uniform in September. It can be purchased throughout the Summer either through our website here or using the forms provided.

Last of all, it’s goodbye from me for the Summer. I hope everyone has a brilliant time, stays safe and enjoys the break. It’s been a brilliant year to reflect on and we are looking forward to September!

Mrs Tootill
Head of Springboard Project

You can find all our previous blog entries here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham


Spring Brook Upper School
Dean Street, Failsworth, Manchester, M35 0DQ

School Hours

M-F: 8:50am – 3:00pm

Morning registration –
08:45am to 9:15am.

Afternoon registration –
13:10pm to 13:25pm.

Compulsory Time Open: 31.25 hours

Weekends: Closed

Phone & Email

0161 883 3431